Dancing Dirty, or Blurred Lines and Other Balancing Acts

2

by Loie Merritt

Dirty Dancing came out the year I was born. It received an unanticipated level of popular acclaim. It seems no one thought the film would do well. After test audiences shuddered at the abortion subplot and rumors of the cast despising each other (naturally calling their quick and engorging passion into question), the film nearly went straight to VHS and into the dusty corner of your local video store forever. Instead, it became a fixture in late 20th century American Romance. Patrick Swayze made modern dance cool, combining ballroom style with the dirty boogie. It won an Oscar. It won a Grammy.Continue Reading

Escaping Hell: Sexual Horror in Titanic, The Shining & Scream

Hell 2

by Melissa Brooks

When I was a little kid, I didn’t understand the role periods played in reproduction. I didn’t know sex had anything to do with penetration. My understanding was only that it involved two people rolling around together, kissing and moaning, and that it was a cardinal sin unless it occurred between a husband and a wife in the privacy of their bedroom.Continue Reading

Re-imagining the Language of Sex, or: Squirting and its Synonyms

female ejaculation 2

 

I have always considered myself a “late bloomer.” In my early teens, I had a makeshift “camp boyfriend.” He was a blonde, lanky guy. Outside of the end-of-camp dance, he kissed my cheek too hard and too wetly while I sat on his lap, fidgeting over his erection. I did not enjoy my first real kiss until the end of high school.Continue Reading

The Sex Wars, Revisited: Sex Positive vs. Sex Negative Feminist Voices on Pornography

pornography and feminism 1

From the “sex wars” of the 1980s to today, feminism (as a multi-faceted and -faced movement with nearly as many iterations as there are practitioners, which is yet expected to comprise itself into one monolithic ideology) has, as a whole, grappled and often floundered with issues of sexuality and its representations in mass media.Continue Reading

Franco, Fetish, and What Happens When You Disrobe the Fantasy

James Franco film Kink 1

BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism) has officially left the cultural cellar and entered the bedroom of mainstream America. What with the viral spread of 50 Shades of Grey, Rihanna making it for the masses in S&M and kink student groups popping up on college campuses across the country—what were once considered anti-normative or even deviant forms of sexuality have now become ubiquitous.Continue Reading